Two local teachers unions have petitioned the New Mexico Supreme Court to stop a new teacher evaluation system.
The Albuquerque Teachers Federation and American Federation of Teachers-New Mexico assert that the actions of Governor Martinez and Secretary-designate of Education Hanna Skandera violate the state Constitution. The writ, which was filed last week, argues that the legislature should approve changes in teacher evaluation, not the executive branch.
The unions object to the PED plan in part because of the weight given to student test scores. For most classroom teachers, up to 50% of their yearly evaluation would be based on how their students do on standardized tests. Advocates for the PED plan say student test results are a more accurate measurement of teacher effectiveness.
The Education Department is piloting the evaluation system in over a dozen schools across New Mexico, and plans for state-wide implementation for school year 2013-2014